Monday, November 27, 2006

Official meeting with Lys Ware on NEWare Island

Hey bloggers! Here I am with Lys Ware (aka. Henrik Bennetsen) on the NEWare Island which is the residency complex for the artist Lynn Hershman. Check out the embedded low-rez (very low-rez) video of my tour with Lys Ware and the other screenshots...I have added some captions detailing my guided tour below...

EXTREMELY LOW-REZ VIDEO DOCUMENTATION OF LYS WARE AND MYSELF...


If you do not see this video above, please click this link here.
Yes, this video is very pixellated and low-rez. This was because Second Life was having grid problems at the time and my recording software would only accept a low-resolution to capture its glitchy frame-rate. This might be the lowest-rez video of Second Life online...lol! Anyway, it is better to have some documentation of the tour than none at all! Here are some more screenshots which I will explain in more detail below...

This pic shows the two of us standing on top of the 2D floor plan schematics for the Dante Hotel which was an installation piece originally conceived by Lynn Hershman in 1974 (as old as my 1st Life!)

To the optically spoiled citizens of Second Life, this "bedroom" might appear to be completely unrendered. However, the look is an intentional design choice. I guess I should confess here that as much as I would have liked to have claimed that my low-rez video was also a "design choice", it actually was the result of a careless mistake...sigh! Regardless of intentions, the "furniture" (coloured geometrical polygons) in the room can be arranged by speaking to a chatterbot designed by Lynn called Agent Ruby. Also, zoom in on this pic by clicking on it and you will notice just above the motley pair of dayglo green cube-boxes, there is a miniscule brown coloured shard of virtual rock. Upon clicking on this shard, your virtual DNA's code is mapped and moulded into the shard's new shape. So, the tiny shard you see has taken the form of my virtual DNA. I did not realize I was descended from a shard. Well, I guess a rock-shard does resemble the structure of a pixel and art of course has been rumoured to have been descended from virtual rock caves so......hmmmm... What would the furniture look like if it has mapped my virtual memes?
Here are some archives of Lynn's installation work (probably Dante's Hotel) in embedded screenshot format. The archives look dry when presented as a screenshot but being in-world with Lys there really gave these archives a much needed Second Life!

Here is another angle of this same archive room. Lynn seemed to like corridors as much as Bruce Nauman! This inspired Lys to mention that they have been experimenting with "phantom" surfaces on NEWare Island. There was this one very trippy example where one could walk right through a photo of a corridor into a genuine virtual corridor! Here is the video I took of this example in a more normal resolution:


If you cannot see the video above, click on the direct link here.

Well, you had to be there but the combination of "illusionism" versus (virtual) "reality" was very inspiring. I will suggest the installation of a similar effect for the performance art group, Second Front. Yes, I must go back and make a video of what I am trying to articulate here...Practice sometimes is much better than theory...sigh!


>...and here we are sitting down together in the home-theatre room. We are watching a 4 minute embedded video/movie loop with audio narrated by Lynn herself. I have another screenshot of this event that is nearly optically identical to this blogged pose here so I decided to only post of these theatre pix. I learned from Lys that there does not appear to be a limit on the duration of video that can be embedded into a virtual wall. This definitely opens up possibilities for our performance art ideas. It also allows the audience to take either a passive and/or active role in how they choose to interact (or not) with the artwork.

...and here we are flying around looking down onto the sculptural aerial view (the outline) of the Dante Hotel. I am glad Lys advised me of some hotkey shortcuts for flying and landing because it took me many seconds to recover based on the way I used to land prior to this guided tour ;-) I was getting a little spatially disoriented but I do not recall the 2D schematic version and the 3D sculptural version being that close together in terms of virtual proximity...I will have to revisit this Island to confirm how all these sculptural and archtectural motifs directly relate to each other.


Ok finally here we are at in the reasonable facsimile of the Dante Hotel itself. Lys instructs me to request a key from the guestbook and sure enough, I managed to register my stay at the hotel for three consecutive times (but not 3 consecutive nights). Lys informs me that this may be a design glitch at the structural level.


Speaking of design glitches or oversights....er "undersights"...Here I am unable to fit through the door to my room. I am too tall for the door frame and I am also far too clumsy and lanky to do the virtual limbo and duck into this magic room (where Lynn originally resided at room #47) the easy way. Lys realizes that not all art audiences are composed of vertically challenged people so perhaps he will upgrade this beta version to allow for a taller door-entrance...I literally had to fly through the ceiling and make several painstaking attempts to land right back into the middle of my newly assigned bedroom...sigh!


..after my 7th attempt at using the mini-map as a navigational tool, I finally figured out the coordination to land directly into the middle of my new bedroom (which came with a great bathroom and I also neglected to document)! Lys was re-arranging the room's furniture for me but I guess I did not have the rights and privileges to move these very same objects. We got talking about where such places might exist where I could freely toss around virtual objects (including readymades) and he suggested a region of Second Life called "The Linden Sandboxes". I am guessing this is where the performance art group Second Life will need to practice some of their very first performances. On another tangent, I have never slept on an embedded jpeg before, have you? ;-)


Here is a pic of Lys getting comfy on the embedded screenshot ;-) I almost forgot to mention that the orange chair was the one that Lys seemed most fixated on moving around.

I just took this pic so I could get a better look at Lys' profile. He is quite the professional looking avatar, eh?

Here we are faffing around while I set up the camera to record our promo video-documentation (yes, the one that turned out low-rez). If I had figured out the video capture settings properly, the video would have had the exact same resolution as this pic...sigh! Anyway, here is where you can have a glimpse of that virtual flight sculpture in much more detail than was shown on the video.

Ok and for the last pic of this posting, we are showing a behind-the-scenes moment of our official promo photo together. You will notice that Lys is insecure about his height and requires this plinth to elevate his stature. Hmmm...here is a solid case where Lys is using blatant augmentation to enhance the illusion of full personality immersion ;-)

Thanks for checking out all these screenshots and I must definitely thank you all for enduring the agony of being compelled to watch a Second Life video with the lowest resolution ever published online thus far....heh heh.
Please scroll down for more screenshots and yet another embedded video with slightly higher resolution...

2 comments:

Lys Ware said...

Hi Wirxli,

what a great writeup. Thank you for stopping by; you're welcome back at any time.

Lys

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